FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - BUSINESS
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO OPEN A JETPACK FLIGHT CENTER?
While this number will vary widely from location to location and operator to operator, we typically tell our commercial clients that they should plan to start with approximately $100k to get their business up and running successfully. It can be done for less and it’s certainly very easy to spend more, but $100k seems to be the ballpark that most of our successful clients fall into.
HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE FROM A JETPACK FLIGHT CENTER?
With a jetpack flight center, the sky’s the limit (no pun intended). In the new hydro flight industry, there is opportunity literally all over the world for new jetpack flight centers, so the operators who establish themselves first and, more importantly, set up the right processes, will reap the rewards. With a 200-day season and an average $200 flight/video price, the annual revenue can reach $600,000. When you submit a request Operator Eligibility Plan (see the form at the bottom of this page), we will provide you with a detailed pro forma, where you can enter the specific data for your location (operating days, fuel costs, flight pricing, etc.) to estimate your annual return.
IS JETPACK AMERICA OFFERING FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITIES?
Jetpack America is not currently offering franchise opportunities. We can help give you advice and share our industry knowledge. All of our jetpack and jetboard purchasers are given free business consults to help get their business flying!
WHAT KIND OF JET SKI OR PERSONAL WATERCRAFT (PWC) DO YOU RECOMMEND?
For private operators, we recommend maximizing horsepower, but with commercial operators, where the jet ski will be the workhorse of your business, longevity, fuel efficiency and low-cost maintenance are the primary drivers and, for this reason, we recommend maximizing horsepower while avoiding superchargers, which dramatically increase operating and maintenance costs. For this reason, we prefer the 180-hp Yamaha VXS or VXR models, which are able to get a 200-lb pilot 30-35 feet in the air, which is more than enough for 95% of your first-time customers. For any ski, we strongly recommend an after-market dual impeller to maximize performance.
WHAT IS A DUAL IMPELLER?
Due to the adaptation of the jet ski to power the jetpack, it has been found that a dual impeller (one main drive impeller with a a second smaller impeller – or inducer) produces better water flow from the pump, creating more power and more height with less engine RPM, which reduces wear-and-tear and fuel consumption. The cost of the dual impeller is typically recouped in fuel savings within the first 100-200 hours of operation.
HOW MUCH FUEL WILL I TYPICALLY CONSUME IN MY OPERATION?
Assuming a 180-hp ski with a dual impeller, you will typically burn approximately 2.25 gallons of fuel for every typical 200-lb first-time customer flying for approximately 25 minutes. Pilot weight, flight time, throttle use, engine maintenance and many other factors will affect fuel consumption, but this is a reasonable average.
WHY SHOULD I BUY FROM JETPACK AMERICA?
The short answer is because we are your one-stop shop for all things jetpack. Jetpack America is one of the few companies in the world to offer jetpack sales, training, rentals, service and support, with three of our own flight centers (Newport Beach, San Diego and Las Vegas) and commercial clients in locations around the world, so you can rest assured you’re working with an industry leader who is prepared to answer any questions you may have. Our clients are viewed as part of the Jetpack America family, so you can call for service and support 24×7 and enjoy the best customer service in the business (check us out on Yelp, TripAdvisor and on our Testimonials page to see what our customers and clients are saying about us). Rest assured, when you work with Jetpack America, you are working with the best!
HOW MUCH DOES INSTRUCTOR TRAINING COST?
We offer two instructor training courses. The one-day Certified Flight Instructor course is $1500 and teaches the fundamentals of flight and instruction. The three-day Master Instructor course is $3500 and teaches additional skills that are required to certify your own instructors, which will save money in a growing operation with expected growth in instructor staff. Jetblade certification can be added to either course, with one additional day for $1500. Additional people can be added to the training for 50% of the above rates.
WHERE IS INSTRUCTOR TRAINING OFFERED?
You can do your instructor training at any of the three Jetpack America locations (Newport Beach, San Diego or Las Vegas), each offering unique amenities, which you’ll want to consider based on your desired operating location. Alternatively, we can send a Training Administrator to your location to train your staff on-site. Although this carries additional cost, it offers specific advantages since we can help establish your location’s processes, which will be integral to your long-term success. A final option is to train with one of Jetpack America’s training affiliates, which are opening up around the world (inquire for details).
DO YOU OFFER FINANCING?
We are excited to offer commercial financing through QuickSpark, where you can pay no-money-down and have monthly payments as low as $175. Click HERE to fill out a one-page application, where you can expect a credit decision in less than 24 hours. Be sure to include all items, including training and accessories, that you would like to finance.
IS THERE A PURCHASE WARRANTY?
Yes, all X-Jets equipment is covered by a 1-year warranty for personal/private use and a 3-month warranty for commercial use on all parts and labor. Please keep in mind, the warranty period commences upon delivery of the equipment rather than from the first time it is used, so you’ll want to factor this into your purchase/seasonal timeframe.
WHAT ACCESSORIES DO YOU RECOMMEND?
The primary accessory we recommend for any jetpack user is the Skat-Trak dual impeller, which improves water flow from the pump, thereby increasing max flight heights by 5-10 feet and reducing fuel consumption and overall engine wear-and-tear. Additionally, the quick-connect steering nozzle, which allows you to quickly switch from jetpack to jet ski without the use of tools.
WHAT IS THE ANNUAL INSURANCE COST?
Thankfully, insurance costs have dropped quite a bit over the past few years, since the track record of the hydro flight industry has proven the safety of the activity and our training methods, so you can expect to pay between $10-20k per year for standard $1M liability coverage. Additional insurance may be required for your specific location, so please be sure to inquire. You may also need or want workers compensation insurance and/or property coverage for your equipment, which would be in addition to your liability policy. Please note, most insurance carriers require proof of instructor certification before they will issue coverage.
AM I REQUIRED TO HAVE A COAST GUARD CAPTAIN’S LICENSE?
Starting in early 2015, the US Coast Guard now requires all commercial hydro flight instructors to carry Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) captain’s licenses. Jetpack America has partnered with the Coast Guard to establish a location-specific Restricted License, which requires 75% less on-water time and fewer tests to make the license easier to get for new operators. See the Coast Guard requirement page for details.
CAN THIS BUSINESS SUCCEED IN A SEASONAL LOCATION?
Now that jetpack systems can be purchased for under $10k and attached to standard jet skis, seasonal operations are much more viable. As with any location, you’ll still want to do your research and assess the revenue and expenses, but if you create your business plan with well-tested processes, you will be well-positioned to turn a profit in your shorter operating season.
WHAT PERMITS ARE REQUIRED TO OPERATE?
Each location is different, so you’ll want to speak with your local authorities (city, state parks, Coast Guard, lifeguards, etc.) to see what is required to operate a commercial jetpack business in the area. New in 2015 is the Coast Guard requirement for all jetpack instructors to carry captains licenses while flying paying customers on Coast Guard controlled waters.
WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY CONSIDERATIONS FOR A GOOD OPERATING LOCATION?
As with most businesses, choosing your operating location should be your number one priority. Unlike a coffee shop, the considerations for a jetpack flight center are a little different. You’ll want to ensure you have all of the following: easy water access (dock or launch ramp), office space close to flight zone, water depth of at least 10 feet, calm water in operating area (bay, harbor, lake, etc. – we do not recommend operating in the open ocean, due to wind, current waves, etc.), proximity to potential customers (hotels, shopping, tourist attactions, etc.), visibility in flight zone (for drawing in more customers), access to secure equipment storage area, access to power supply for charging electronics, etc. We’ve helped clients around the world in a variety of setups, so let us know what you’re considering and we can provide you with our feedback.
WHAT SUPPORT DOES JETPACK AMERICA OFFER?
Jetpack America’s success is dependent upon your success, so our goal is to provide you not only with proper guidance before you open your jetpack flight center, but also with ongoing service and support after you are up and running. When you join the Jetpack America family, you have access to the most experienced jetpack team in the world, with thousands of hours of flight and instructing time, so you can rest assured that you have the best in the business at your disposal, who you can reach via phone, email or in person at any time.
WHAT ARE MY NEXT STEPS?
Please contact us and one of our sales managers will email you our welcome packet, which contains our Commercial Hydroflight Operators Questionnaire (CHOQ). From there, we can set up a conference call to discuss any specific questions you may have, schedule your instructor training and place your order for jetpack equipment and accessories. After that, it’s time to FLY!